Adonia Lugo is an anthropologist and a leading voice for diversity and inclusion in bicycling. Holding a PhD from the UC Irvine, she speaks out about the importance of cross-cultural understanding and community-based research in urban sustainability, including issues related to bicycling, transit, affordable housing, and public space. Her approach to activist ethnography draws on the tradition of flânerie and the Situationist International’s call for political action in public space. Her experience of reconnecting to her social justice roots through bicycling inspired her to be an ally to more transportation realities. As a woman of color, she believes in the centrality of perspective and situated knowledge in understanding street life. She is an urban anthropologist, which means she analyzes cities and streets from the perspective that people’s use of space in their everyday lives shapes what is possible in those spaces.
From 2008–2011 she lived carfree as an engaged researcher studying and promoting bicycling in Los Angeles, and from 2009–2011 she lived at the Los Angeles Eco-Village. Inspired by a trip to Bogotá, Colombia in August 2008, she helped start the effort to organize a ciclovía in Los Angeles, and served as the board secretary of CicLAvia until January 2011. She also co-founded the City of Lights/ Ciudad de Luces project at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that connected day-laborer cyclists with bike advocates in central LA. In 2012, City of Lights transformed into Multicultural Communities for Mobility.
She received a BA from Reed College in Portland, OR in 2005, and an MA in anthropology from UC Irvine in 2010. She currently lives in Washington, DC, where she managed the Equity Initiative at the League of American Bicyclists from November 2013 to March 2015. In 2012, she also helped start Bicicultures, a network of scholars researching bicycling's many social and cultural forms. Bicicultures explores ways to bring bicycle advocacy, research, and communities into the same conversation.